Thursday, September 22, 2011

Anna Tomaskiewicz, Black Widow Serial Killer - 1920


FULL TEXT: Northampton, Mass., May 17. – Four times a widow and charged directly with the murder of her last husband. Mrs. Anna Tomaskiewicz of South Hadley was placed on trial here today. The state openly alleges that the woman caused the death of two husbands, one in Connecticut and one in New York, and that suspicious circumstances attended the deaths of the other two.

The state claims that Mrs. Tomaskiewicz gave her husbands arsenic in order to collect life insurance.

Before the court session today the defendant stated that she would take the stand in her own defense, deny the charge that she poisoned her husband and tell her own version of how the four men died.

A state detective's record covering the woman's life will be introduced, it is said this record takes in her marital career from her girlhood in Galicia, when she married Ignace Malchek. He died in Chicago of tuberculosis, she claims. Theodore Dalmako, to whom she was married in Albany, N. Y., also died. She afterwards married Peter Belos and later Andrew Tomaskiewicz.

[“Woman Four Times Widow Faces Jury On Poisoning Charge,” syndicated (INS), The Pittsburgh Press (Pa.), May 17, 1920, p. 2]

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FULL TEXT: Northampton. Mass May 21 – Evidence concerning the deaths of the second and third husbands of Mrs. Anna Tomaskiewicz of South Hadley on trial here charged with the murder of her fourth husband Andrew was introduced today by District Attorney Thomas G. Hammond for the prosecution. Testimony showed that the former husbands Theodore Darmetko and Peter Vilos each died after short illnesses and that on each there were several insurance policies.

It was brought out that Anna Malcyzk (Mrs. Tomaskiewicz) and Mr. Darmetko were married in June 1915, and that Mr. Darmetko died in July 1916, following one week’s illness. Three insurance policies aggregating about $300 on which partial payments after the death of the husband should [have] been made, were presented as evidence.

Michael Hurley of Pittsfield said that a week before his death Mr. Darmetko had complained to him of pains in his stomach. Medical Examiner Henry Colt of Pittsfield testified to being present when the body of Mr. Darmetko was exhumed recently and of the autopsy performed by Dr. James B Magrath of Boston. Adam Ostrowski of Holyhoke, undertaker, said he had prepared the bodies of the third and fourth husbands of the defendant for burial.

At the request of the jury an all-day session will take place tomorrow when adjournment will be taken, to Monday.

[“Other Husbands of Mrs. Tomaskiewicz Met Untimely Ends,” Daily Kennebec Journal (Augusta, Me.), May 22, 1920, p. 4]

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FULL TEXT: Northampton, May 27—A verdict of not guilty by reason o£ insanity was returned tonight by a Superior Court jury in the case of Mrs. Anna Tomasktewiez of South Hadley, charged with the murder of her husband, Andrew Tomaskiewicz, who, the State alleged, died of arsenical poisoning at the Holyoke Hospital. Aug 11, 1919. Mrs. Tomaskiewicz, was seen to smile when the verdict was given by the jury foreman. Mrs. Tomaskiewicz was committed to the Northampton State Hospital for the Insane for life.

The jury was given the case at 4:20 o'clock this afternoon, and after 1 ¼  hours for lunch began its deliberations, which ended at 7 o'clock tonight. Final arguments were made this morning by attorney R. J. Stapleton for the defense and Dist. Atty. Hammond for the Commonwealth. The defense claimed that the defendant was of low mentality and that all the evidence of her guilt was, circumstantial. Mrs. Tomaskiewicz had waived her right to address the jury.

The prosecution argued that Anna knew what she was doing and was merely trying to evade the penalty of premeditated murder. Following the arguments, Judge Webster Thayer gave the charge to the jury and it retired.

[“Finds Alleged Killer Insane - Mrs. Anna Tomaskiewicz Is Not Guilty, Says Jury South Hartley Woman Tried on Charge of Poisoning Husband,” The Boston Daily Globe (Ma.), May 28, 1920, p. 1]

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For links to other cases of woman who murdered 2 or more husbands (or paramours), see Black Widow Serial Killers.

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